According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Spiritual Tether of Gravity We Cling To Against Our Own Tether Of Helplessness

 
 
  
 
 
Gravity - Official Main Trailer [2K HD]
 
 
 
 
 
Gravity: You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until It’s Gone
 
by Greg Boyd
October 14, 2013
 
I had read a number of reviews about the movie “Gravity,” so when Shelley and I decided to enjoy a mid-week date night at the movies, I entered the theater with some pretty high expectations. The movie more than exceeded all those expectations.
 
“Gravity” is an off-the-charts intense thriller, made all the more exciting because the fate the two main characters (played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) must constantly fight is the horrifying prospect of floating off alone into deep space with nothing else to do but watch their oxygen level slowly run out – pretty much like being buried alive in slow motion! Yet, this was one of those rare nail-biters that managed to leave emotional space for some truly poignant moments, sprinkled in with several splendid moments of comedic release.
 
On top of this, I thought the cinematography was absolutely Oscar worthy. It’s not just that the backdrop of the earth and an endless star-filled sky throughout the movie is breath taking. Even more impressive was the remarkably realistic way that people and objects are depicted as violently interacting with each other in zero-gravity space. So too, the use of distance and silence to draw you into Ryan’s feeling of lonely despair as she twirls helplessly out into deep space was nothing short of brilliant. (By the way, this is a movie you must see in 3D. More than half the thrill will be lost otherwise). And, finally, while both Clooney and Bullock were great, I felt that Bullock in particular knocked it out of the park! This was by far her best performance. Bullock masterfully pulls you into the depth of the darkness her character experiences as she faces the likelihood of dying alone, as well as the darkness she has been enveloped in since the tragically random death of her beloved four-year-old daughter years ago.
 
Which brings me to the aspect of this movie that I felt outshined everything I’ve said so far. The most profound aspect of this movie was the way it wove together two stories, the first about two astronauts struggling to survive against all odds after suffering a catastrophe in space, the second about a woman trying against all odds to find a reason to go on living after suffering a catastrophe on earth. And the thing that made this weaving so brilliant was that, at every turn, the first story symbolized the second. And the thematic cord that tied them together was gravity.
 
Interesting title, especially when you consider that the whole movie is without it. And that, you’ll find, is the point. Every problem the two astronauts confront is because they lack gravity. Without gravity, we humans are vulnerable to random chaos flung at us by forces much greater than ourselves. Without gravity, we are threatened with the possibility of floating off into nothingness. Without gravity, we desperately cling to anything, or anyone, to save us from the infinite void. (The intensity of almost every thrill scene is due to the tenuous nature of the grasp that keeps the astronauts from floating away – or not). We learn that this is precisely the condition Ryan has been living in since her daughter’s death. Lacking any foundation to hold her in place, her grasp on life is tenuous, with the void threatening to sweep her away. As she spins helplessly into the void, in one scene, we are watching a woman whose external environment perfectly reflects the state of her soul. If you keep your eyes open, you’ll find the symbolism runs throughout, and it’s powerful.
 
Finally, and most interesting of all from my perspective, there is a theological dimension to the way these two stories are woven together. I felt the question of God’s existence was already being raised by the way this movie repeatedly depicted horrendously destructive events by forces that were utterly indifferent to the welfare of humans taking place against the backdrop of the breathtaking beauty of the earth and stars. But the question becomes much more explicit as the astronauts continue to talk into their radios in the unlikely hope that someone “out there” can hear them. Here too the story of the plight of Ryan in space symbolizes the story of Ryan’s soul, for we are again seeing into the soul of a woman who has always wanted to cry out for “someone out there.” She just didn’t know how, and didn’t know if it would do any good even if she did.
 
On both a physical and spiritual level, Ryan longs for gravity. As to whether she finds it or not, that will be for you to decide.

See more at: http://reknew.org/2013/10/gravity-you-dont-know-what-youve-got-until-its-gone/#sthash.k6lD07uw.dpuf
 
 
 
 
Gravity - "I've Got You" [HD]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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